The Cosmic Matrix Club
& Summa Metaphysica’s Potentialism Theory

Connecting the works of four important cosmologists

Baruch Spinoza, independent scholar, Amsterdam, Ethics, c. 1677
a lattice-work matrix

David Birnbaum, independent scholar, Manhattan, Summa Metaphysica, 1988, 2005, 2014
—- an organic matrix

Seth Lloyd of MIT, Boston, Programming the Universe, 2006
— a quantum computer-generated information matrix

Max Tegmark of MIT, Boston, Our Mathematical Universe, 2014
— a mathematical matrix

Is the universe all connected by some all-encompassing metaphysical web or matrix?

All the four cosmologists above say yes; they all posit a holistic, fully-integrated matrix; note that they represent a quite-miniscule percentage of cosmologists.

Both Birnbaum (1988) and Lloyd (2006) are reinforced by Tegmark’s (2014) holistic, fully-integrated matrix-like universe theory. Lloyd and Tegmark draw heavily on their mathematical backgrounds to sketch their cosmology. To both Lloyd and Tegmark the universe moves like a giant, holistic computer. Rather than previous theories like Randomness, these matrix-like universal theories show a more teleologically based (direction-based), if mechanistic view of the universe. See xMIT1000.com.

Much like Lloyd and Tegmark after him, Birnbaum (1988) elucidated a structured, ordered, purposeful universe. Although Birnbaum (1988, 2005) precedes Lloyd and Tegmark, he takes the matrix concept several quantum steps further. See SummaMetaphysica.com.

Cosmologist Birnbaum, in his three-part Summa Metaphysica series, shows Beginning > Middle > End: Eternal Origins > Cosmic Mechanism > Cosmic Goal.

Birnbaum’s intermediate stage – Cosmic Mechanism (Complexification) – dovetails nicely with Lloyd/Tegmark of MIT. See xQuantumUniverse.com.

In turn, Lloyd/Tegmark discern respective scientific mechanisms (in each case a dynamic matrix of sorts) do not deal substantively with either Eternal Origins (at the beginning, of course) or Cosmic Goal (down-the-road, of course). See xQuantum1000.com.

The Matrix Progenitor (1677)

Readers may be intrigued, however, by the actual progenitor of a theory of a holistic, fully-integrated lattice-work, matrix-like universe: Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677 CE). His work Ethics was published posthumously. It is considered one of the great works of metaphysics of all time, however obscure it may be.

A Dutch philosopher, Spinoza would set out nearly 400 years ago to brazenly challenge humanity’s understanding of both God and the universe. Before Spinoza there were, in effect, two universes – the material and the divine. The church had worked hard to separate the spiritual from the material. In and of itself, its aim was harmless enough – the church thought that the spiritual, divine and holy represented a perfect realm of existence, impossible on earth. This left heaven and the afterlife something wondrous and beautiful to strive for.

Separate realms?

Unfortunately, the church also drove science and cosmology in their image. What they would inadvertently do is isolate the divine from the physical world until spirituality itself would become a stranger in our scientific view of the universe. From a scientific perspective, the church would become its own worst enemy. But Spinoza would deny this artificial dichotomy the church had laid out between nature and spirituality.

While religious minds of his time saw the divine as something separate and removed from physical reality, Spinoza recognized that in a universe where God himself was omnipotent and omnipresent, he must necessarily be part of the universe itself. Thus Spinoza brought forth the idea (heretical as it might have been at the time) that God must be part of nature itself. To Spinoza, God was a force – one in which God was a force of creation but essentially neutral in our human view of good and evil. The universe, as an expression of God, simply was – for better or worse – exactly the only thing it could be and had to be.

Spinoza: All is determined

Moreover, Spinoza believed in determinism. That is to say, the course of nature, and thus God, were set. There was no praying to change the course of how events would unfold. Only a better understanding of the divine could help mankind navigate life. It’s not that mankind could change anything, but the understanding would help mankind live in a state of harmony with God. Again, this was seen as intensely heretical to the church and to the local Jewish religious authority at the time as well.

Interestingly, determinism meant that morality was largely subjective. As all human courses of action were predetermined, considering them as free-willed choices was an illusion – thus no one was actually capable of acting good or evil. For Spinoza, the only positive effect a person could have was to have an understanding of their predetermined path and an active acceptance of it.

Space for Spirituality?

Needless to say, Spinoza’s more severe conclusions part ways with Birnbaum; however both Spinoza and Birnbaum – as opposed-to Lloyd and Tegmark – proactively leave metaphysical ‘space’ for spirituality/religion. David Birnbaum’s Potentialism Theory (aka Quest for Potential∞ Theory aka Q4P-Theory) has come under quite-virulent ad homenim attack by Atheistic proponents – operating through surrogates – for anchoring spirituality/religion as viable metaphysical options.

Spinoza was the first cosmologist in the Renaissance world to actively search for patterns and meaning in the physical world – without the active removal of the spiritual from consideration. Moreover, Spinoza recognized the essentially teleological (direction-based) nature of the universe. As opposed to a universe of random occurrences, Spinoza recognized the underlying and purposeful pattern of the cosmos.

Divergence and Intersection

What might have been a very rough 17th century understanding of the universe would nevertheless be quantum-overhauled in the late 20th/early 21st century by the likes of Birnbaum. David Birnbaum’s universe is alive and organic, whereas Spinoza’s universe is quite sterile and mathematical; however, but both metaphysicists deploy an infinite and dynamic cosmic matrix. See cnn-spinoza-birnbaum.com.

Potentialistic, not Deterministic

Modern cosmologists such as David Birnbaum have corrected and overhauled (re-invented?) the basic principles laid down by Spinoza. The hard, deterministic universe of Spinoza has been corrected, as our greater understanding of Potentiality has been illuminated. What Spinoza saw as an entire predetermined existence is actually an array of possible, potential pathways mankind might take.

Birnbaum notes that all things seek their own potential. But the myriad pathways to that potential are literally infinite. One might raise children, craft a symphony…. the ways to explore potentials are limitless. See PotentialiamTheory.com.

As a species, we follow a choreographed dance into a universe of ever-greater complexity. Moving with a teleological rhythm, we continue our waltz into a future of greater and greater complexity. What is our final goal? According to Birnbaum, an unparalleled and unknowable future of extraordinariation – a universal complexity of perfect beauty, art, truth, morality and existence as a whole.

At the pinnacle

Anchored by Spinoza from the 17th century, and then re-enforced by Lloyd and Tegmark of MIT in the 21st, David Birnbaum’s Summa Metaphysica/Potentialism Theory (aka Quest for Potential∞ Theory aka Q4P-Theory) possibly trumps all comers. It (concisely) solves the most issues by far; it works through multiple lenses – religious, spiritual and secular (see Unifying1000.com); it covers-the-bases: past-present-future; in-the-mix it unifies Science, Philosophy and Spirituality; it ‘works’ on macro thru micro levels (see TTOE1000.com); it seemingly integrates, in particular macro-physics (Relativity/Gravity) with micro-physics (Quantum Mechanics); it appears to be the most fully-integrated metaphysics (known). See SummaCoverage.com.

Other than all of the above, it is no big deal.